No. 35 Stanford men’s tennis (6-3) had a tough weekend on the road, as the Cardinal were edged by No. 12 USC (12-2) on Friday before falling to No. 15 UCLA (8-3) 4-2 on Saturday.
At USC, the Cardinal started strong, as sophomores Sameer Kumar and Michael Genender disposed of their doubles opponents 6-3 on Court 2. Junior David Wilczynski and senior Brandon Sutter quickly followed on Court 3 with a 7-5 win to offer Stanford the doubles point. Wilczynski and Sutter have now triumphed in their past four doubles encounters.
The Cardinal’s lead, however, did not last long, as USC quickly rebounded in singles, taking Courts 1 and 4 in straight sets. On Court 4, Jack Jaede dominated sophomore Jack Barber, 6-4, 6-2, and No. 27 Brandon Holt gave USC a 2-1 lead after topping No. 12 junior Tom Fawcett, 6-4, 6-2.
Despite losing the first set 6-4 on Court 6, Sutter won the second 6-4, but was eventually edged 6-3 in the first set as the Cardinal fell behind 1-3.
On Court 2, Kumar brought hope to Stanford after he won his fourth career three-set match against Nick Crystal, 6-3, 6-7, 6-2. Meanwhile, on Court 3, Genender fell 7-6 in the first set, but managed to rally back 6-3 in the second to tie it. In the third set, Genender could not contain No. 42 Logan Smith, who clinched the victory for the Trojans.
Although his contest did not matter, Wilczynski took Court 5 for the Cardinal in three sets. After he took the first one 7-6, Wilczynski was topped 6-2 in the second, but managed to stay on top in the third to take the victory 7-6.
Saturday’s match against UCLA unfolded in a similar fashion. Stanford again took the doubles point, as Wilczynski and Sutter took Court 3 with a easy 6-1 win against their opponents. Although UCLA won 6-2 on Court 1, Kumar and Genender triumphed 6-4 on Court 2 to clinch the doubles points and give Stanford an early lead.
Stanford then jumped to a 2-0 lead as Sutter won in straight sets 6-2, 6-3 on Court 6. This would be Stanford’s last point of the day, as UCLA rallied to win its other singles matches.
UCLA immediately answered, as Martin Redlicki earned the Bruins’ first point on Court 2 after a tight game over Kumar, 6-2, 7-5.
Although Wilczynski took the first set of his contest 6-1, Austin Rapple bounced back, winning two sets 6-4, 6-4 to tie the score at 2-2.
Genender took the second set on Court 3 after falling behind in the first. UCLA’s player then took over in the third to put the Bruins one win away from victory.
The clincher came on Court 4, where Barber fell in a three-set thriller, 4-6, 7-6, 4-6.
On Court 1, Tom Fawcett was able to force a third set, and was moving towards victory when his game was halted by Barber’s match loss and UCLA’s final clinching point.
The Cardinal players return to action for the Pacific Coast Doubles tournament from March 2-5, before facing Cal on March 7.
Contact Alexandre Bucquet at bucqueta ‘at’ stanford.edu.